Gustavus Adolphus College President Jack Ohle has announced that the College is developing plans to renovate the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library. President Ohle made the announcement on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the College’s 18th biennial library fundraiser, A Royal Affair.
“With all the changes in technology over the last 40 years, many have wondered about the role of the library on a college campus and have questioned whether the library will be relevant in the future,” President Ohle said. “The answer is definitely yes. However, the library may be a very different place for future Gusties than it was for the generations of alumni who studied in the current facility. We are starting to imagine what we are calling a 21st century intellectual learning commons where scholarly exploration, academic support, and technology come together.”
Key shareholders have already committed gifts and pledges to Campaign Gustavus totaling $4.1 million that are earmarked toward the library project. Gustavus Library Associates, a friends-of-the-college organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the library, has been challenged to help secure the next $4 million in funding to make the project a reality. The visionary plans shared at A Royal Affair last Saturday were developed in partnership with Minneapolis-based architects Hammel Green and Abrahamson. The College will break ground on the project when it is fully funded. President Ohle indicated that he hoped that the full funding of the project could be completed over the next few years as part of Campaign Gustavus.
The College’s strategic plan calls for a complete renovation of the library space to reflect the current needs of students and faculty as the library continues to support the academic mission of the College. The plans call for construction of dynamic learning rooms to facilitate collaborative learning for students, a newly designed entrance, more natural light, and a gateway between the Sesquicentennial Plaza and the Johns Family Courtyard. The project also includes additional space for the Hillstrom Museum of Art to move from its current location on the lower level of the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.
The Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library opened in 1972 and has served thousands of students for more than 40 years. It is named after Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, who was assassinated in 1948 while serving as the United Nations mediator in Palestine.
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